Thursday, May 8, 2008


We came home from Natural Gardener via 290 the other day, and decided to stop in at Nutty Brown for lunch. There are a couple of things you need to know about Nutty Brown: don't come here for the food, don't come here to eat inside. Now, I'm not saying the food is bad. It's perfectly OK, but the menu is heavy on artery cloggers. And I'm not saying the inside of the restaurant is bad either. It's just sort of dreary when compared to what's out back: amphitheater, multiple bars and stages, exotic birds, shady live oaks, a playground for the kids, great live music, starry skies and twinkle lights. The property was originally home to Nutty Brown Mills, makers of the famous Nutty Brown pralines. You can still get pralines here, and I believe they are made from the original recipe, but I have a confession to make. Although I have a notorious sweet tooth, I couldn't manage more than a bite or two off of John's praline. The sweetness just about curled my toes. I surely do love that spinning neon cowboy out front though.


I attended the local herb society's annual plant sale a few weeks back, and met the most interesting lady there, named Sarah Holland. To say that she knows a lot about herbs would be selling her short. Even the words teacher and authority leave something to be desired. No, the only one that really fits is guru.

The sale was being held at her place, and what an amazing place it was (especially when you consider that most all of the labor was her own, and she's a single woman of retirement age). Instead of entering from the street in front of her home, a side entrance off of Jacob's Well Road was opened just for this occasion. In addition to plenty of parking space, there was a covered cashier area, a cute little building called the herb shed, and a nice winding path that takes you through the trees, first to the clearing that is set up as her teaching area, and then on to the amazing gardens behind her home.

Not only did she know a lot about herbs, she also knew a lot about most everyone in town. It turns out she lived in Houston before coming here, and her favorite place to shop for plants was the nursery where I worked for six years! I simply must get her recipe for lavender lemonade.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


For the past 3 1/2 years I have been like a man without a country. Here I was, working at a wonderful garden center, getting a great discount, and yet I had no garden in which to plant anything! When we bought this place in Wimberley, we sold our house in Katy and rented a townhouse closer in. We couldn't start a new garden in Wimberley with no way to keep it watered, so I had to be content with a few containers on the porch and patio in Houston. In the summer it wasn't too bad. I kind of enjoyed being free to stay inside where it was cool for a change. But in spring, when the garden shops were full to overflowing with all sorts of amazing things, and I had no where to put them, I really suffered.

Now, I am making up for lost time. Watch out Natural Gardener in Austin, here I come!